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October 01, 2022

Bank of Commerce ramps up IT spending as IPO kicks off

San Miguel-led Bank of Commerce headed by bankero Michelangelo Aguilar has spent P1.2 billion over the past three years to systems upgrade of key services including treasury, trust banking and anti-money laundering.

“We are committed to embracing new technologies to strengthen our core functions and governance, unleash capabilities to integrate our services, realize operational efficiencies, and reduce transaction costs. Ultimately, this will redound to providing a exceptional customer experience in the new normal,” Aguilar said.

As part of efforts to improve its IT channels rolled out in 2019, Bank of Commerce invested P1.2 billion to improve its digital capabilities through its enhanced mobile banking and web platform BankCom [Personal] that has been made more secure and convenient through biometrics and a suite of new features.

The banking arm of San Miguel has set aside P1 billion to upgrade its core banking system and refresh its ATM fleet across the country, including the installation of additional machines at strategic offsite locations starting this year.

“Digital banking is on the rise and will continue post-COVID as many people have experienced its convenience. By deciding early on to upgrade our digital assets, we are now in a position to reach out and offer more to our customers,” Aguilar said.

The bank which is raising at least P3.37 billion through an initial public offering said further IT developments are underway to beef up the bank’s performance in trade finance, loan management, risk management, as well as cash management.

Bank of Commerce estimates to bring in transaction values exceeding P10 billion from corporate and manager’s check facilities alone, and more than P1.5 billion from direct and cross-border fund transfers.

With this, users can now transfer funds to a mobile number or e-mail address and build savings via its “E-Saver” function. Online card transactions, QR-based payments, and integration with electronic payment service provider ECPay are also being lined up.

San Miguel president and CEO Ramon S. Ang, said the banking sector is essential to our country’s post-pandemic recovery.

“We want Bank of Commerce to play a more significant role in San Miguel’s overall efforts to help boost our economy. Upgrading its IT and digital infrastructure is key to meeting the challenges of banking in the new normal and serving the needs of retail customers, SMEs, and corporate clients. We believe in the bank’s strong potential, that’s why we are investing to upgrade and enhance its capabilities to serve more clients,” Ang said.

Enrollments in BankCom [Personal] rose 34.6 percent after the first mobile app version was released in 2020, followed by a 30.8 percent increase in 2021. Notable increases in bills payments and fund transfers (via InstaPay and PESONet) via this channel were also realized.

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